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The Sports Daily > The Saints Nation
Saints Nation Mailbag 11/23

It’s been a while since we’ve done this as the focus has shifted to the constant news stream that is the regular season. But you guys asked some great questions and I’m always down to talk some Saints. So here we go:

 

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No one is entirely sure what Loomis’s day to day role is with the Pelicans. We know his title and we know he’s the boss of GM Dell Demps, but how much day to day focus does he have on them? I think it’s more of an oversight/advisory role, personally, and I don’t think it detracts much from the Saints. The Saints are his priority. If anything, I think it’s Pelicans fans that would want him to relinquish his role and have a more legitimate gripe. Loomis deserves his fair share of criticism, for sure, but I’m going to take the unpopular position that he had a fantastic offseason and deserves credit for it. They hit some real homeruns with Michael Thomas, bringing back Jahri Evans, John Kuhn, Craig Robertson, Ken Crawley, Nick Fairley and a host of other moves. I don’t love the Coby Fleener move, but it hasn’t been an epic disaster either. The Saints have revamped their offseason thinking pretty significantly and I’m encouraged by early returns.

 

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I’m not going to pretend I’m the go to on all things Kevin O’Dea. But obviously the Saints saw something they liked from the job O’Dea was doing in Tampa from 2014 to last year. Something had to be done about how poorly special teams was playing. I think this is a soft approach and a path of least resistance. But based on how things played out with Rob Ryan when Dennis Allen was hired, Greg McMahon should definitely be looking over his shoulder. I envision this being a trial period of sorts for O’Dea and if things go well with him, I imagine he’s the guy next year coaching special teams. I can’t really envision McMahon staying after the season.

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Already given up on the season? First off, looking at their own free agents, I think Nick Fairley is the priority. They need to bring him back. Willie Snead is a restricted free agent, there’s little risk they’ll lose him. There’s a bunch of other guys to consider, too, but I think Snead and Fairley are the priority. I think in free agency they need to have a similar approach to this year. That is, sign a bunch of guys to “prove it” deals. You won’t get a superstar that way, but you’ll get a lot of solid guys. For example, they got Stupar, Robertson and Laurinaitis in free agency this year, knowing they needed to fix linebacker. Yes, Laurinaitis was a huge bust, but that was ok because Robertson and Stupar turned out to be solid pickups. Kruger turned out to not be great, but that’s ok because he’s only on a one year deal. That’s also mitigated by Fairley being a hit. So I’m into the low risk strategy where if a guy turns out to be a lemon, you unload him with low impact to the franchise. The Saints can’t be signing guys to Jairus Byrd deals. The impact on the franchise if it blows up in their face is too great. Not going to speculate on the draft until I’ve looked at prospects more closely – but if I had to pick a position I would say edge pass rusher.

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Yeah, this is super encouraging. Dennis Allen is turning this thing around. I’m not ready to say the defense has arrived, but improved significantly. I’m excited because now they can commit to Allen, he’s the guy, and they can start drafting to his vision and form an identity.